Headline News

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  • After the federal government approved the first leg of California’s high-speed rail project in mid-September, controversy has surrounded the project on the Peninsula....“Environmental studies show that the high-speed rail is not environmentally beneficial, because it would require so much concrete and earth moving,” said Palo Alto City Council Rail Committee Chair Larry Klein. “It is true that once it is completed, taking a train would put less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than flying, but the deficit created during construction would take about 70 years to balance out.”... The electrification of Caltrain may pose issues of its own at Palo Alto’s rail-street intersections, which according to Burt are notorious for causing traffic delays.

    Stanford Daily
  • ... Berkeley professors Allen Goldstein and Robert Harley estimate that diesel exhaust is responsible for 65-90 percent of a region’s vehicular-derived secondary organic aerosol, depending upon the relative amounts of gasoline and diesel used in the area.

    Berkeley NewsCenter
  • Greater Atlanta, in voting down a transit-focused package of transportation improvements this summer, demonstrated its inability to act regionally to address major quality-of-life problems. The city remains plagued by traffic congestion, with no clear plan to fix it, in the face of rapid projected population growth.

    StreetsBlog Network
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    Public health and environmental experts are disputing predictions that air pollution would be significantly reduced if a giant rail yard is built next to schools, parks and hundreds of homes in the Los Angeles harbor area....The project is widely supported by labor unions, business organizations, elected officials and regional planning agencies that cite the creation of hundreds of jobs and the need to accommodate port growth. Public health experts at USC, environmental advocates and officials at the South Coast Air Quality Management District, however, contend that the project's impact analysis overstates the air quality improvements.

    LA Times
  • UCLA Prof. Brian Taylor doesn't have a stake in the battle over Oahu's transit future. However, the transportation policy and planning expert does offer a unique perspective on what would be best for the island's transit needs – the city's proposed $5.3 billion rail project, or a bus rapid transit system.

  • Mitt Romney isn’t talking much about roads, runways or bridges — but behind the scenes he’s engaged a brain trust of transportation advisers who are. The people advising him — though Romney’s campaign stresses that the team is informal — read like a who’s who of senior policymakers from President George W. Bush’s Department of Transportation. The agency at that time was heavily focused on privatization and maximum involvement of the private sector.

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     Margot Ocañas, LA's new pedestrian coordinator, is a Mandarin-speaking Fulbright scholar and one-time Wall Street analyst whose resume also includes running an independent film company with her husband and developing “streets for people” projects at the county Department of Public Health—is jumping feet first into a brand new role with major ramifications for how L.A. moves into the future.

    Zev's Blog
  • A small group of opponents to a three-decade transportation sales tax extension on next month's ballot huddled this week for their first news conference, a thinly attended event in a Hyde Park parking lot.

    LA Times
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    When graphic designer Aris Venetikidis arrived in Dublin a little more than a decade ago, the first thing he did was look for a mass transit map to help him explore the city. Instead he found a transit mess. Dublin's public transportation system consisted mainly of local bus lines, layered one beside the other, each running from the outskirts into the city center. The city's maps didn't have route lines or even station names.

    Atlantic Cities
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    A major city street with parked cars and no bike lanes is just about the most dangerous place you could ride a bike. All the big threats are there: open car doors, bad parallel parkers, passing cabs and public transit. This is not a particularly novel scientific revelation, although research has found it to be true.

    Atlantic Cities